Bureaucracies are dynamic and interactive sociocultural worlds that drive knowledge production, power inequalities and subsequent social struggle, and violence. The authors featured in this special section mobilize their ethnographic data to examine bureaucracies as animated spaces where violence, whether physical, structural, or symbolic, manifests in everyday bureaucratic practices and relationships. The articles span geographic contexts (e.g., United States, Canada, Chile, Eritrea) and topics (e.g., migration, extractive economies, law and sociolegal change, and settler colonialism) but are bound together in their investigation of the violence of the administration of decisions, care, and control through bureaucratic means.
Ethnographic Engagement with Bureaucratic Violence
Erin R. Eldridge and Amanda J. Reinke
Emotion Ideologies in Contemporary German Education about the Holocaust
Lisa Jenny Krieg
Based on an ethnographic field study in Cologne, this article discusses the connection between memory practices and emotion ideologies in Holocaust education, using Sara Ahmed’s concept of affective economies. Moral goals, political demands, and educators’ care for their students lead to tensions in the education process. Two case studies illustrate how educators and learners express different, often contradictory concepts of emotion. In these studies, emotions are selectively opposed to rationality. In some contexts, emotions are considered inferior to facts and obstacles to the learning process; in others, they are superior to facts because they can communicate moral messages reliably.
Abdulla Al Sayyari, Fayez Hejaili and Faissal Shaheen
Discussions on bioethical issues within the Saudi society are a relatively new development. However, they have taken increasing importance over the last two decades. This accompanied the massive advances in medical care, the beginning of medical and biological research, the establishment of pharmaceutical companies and the exposure of society to international norms. By and large the driving forces of the need for bioethical discourses are the practical needs arising from these recent developments in our region rather than that being due to theoretical or academic investigation. In this article, we discuss issues related to the interaction between society and medical ethics in Saudi Arabia with particular reference to organ transplantation ethics.
Disturbance and creativity
It is an old trick and one most of us get our students to do some time or other: Look up the word “culture” in a standard English dictionary. The usual first two entries are always good for a debate. There is the anthropological one, “as customs, values, etc., ‘especially at a particular time’”; and there’s the lit-crit one “as appreciation of art, literature, etc.” Which is right? How do they connect?—and so on. Then there’s the older meaning, “as improvement and development through care . . . cultivation.”
A Reply to Five Critics
I should like to thank my five commentators for their powerful and stimulating challenges to ideas presented in my recent work, and especially in my book National Responsibility and Global Justice (and also, in several instances, for the care they have taken to present those ideas accurately). Since the topics they have chosen to deal with are quite diverse, it makes sense for me to take each critique separately, rather than trying to amalgamate them into some artificial whole. I discuss them in the order in which they appear in the journal.
Thirty Years of Women's History
This article evaluates the influence of Claude Langlois's research on female religious congregations in the field of women's history. It explores how his central findings contributed to scholarship on the feminization of religion before generating a strain of revisionist historiography concerning the history of girls' education and the history of the nursing profession and health care. Specifically, Langois's work has led scholars to investigate the archives of religious congregations and evaluate the emergence of a professional ethos among teaching and nursing nuns. The article concludes with an analysis of his more recent writings on missionary congregations and how this also has inspired work on the gendering of religious mission.
Hillel Avidan and Melanie Shepherd
I first met Nick Carter in July 1974 when I assumed the position of rabbi in the Wimbledon and District Synagogue of which he was a devoted member. Already a veteran speaker and writer in the fields of animal welfare and environmental care, I was used to meeting polite indifference in my fellow Jews whenever I claimed that Judaism demanded positive action in response to any abuse of animals or of the environment. Not only was Nick far from indifferent but he had worked professionally in these fields for many years.
The following two essays by Jeremy Adler and Pavel Seifter were given as addresses at the Conference which celebrated the 40th anniversary of the arrival in London of one thousand, five hundred and sixty-four scrolls from Czechoslovakia, where they came into the care of the Memorial Scrolls Trust. Having been ordered to be sent to the Jewish Museum in Prague, the Scrolls which derived from more than one hundred synagogues in Bohemia and Moravia, survived the war and eventually came to be housed under the auspices of the Trust in Westminster Synagogue in London.
A Jewish Perspective
The Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, wrote of Abraham in ‘fear and trembling’. I am writing this with a sense of panic and terror and so, as always in such a situation, will need to proceed very slowly, taking great care, step by step. What is such fear about? I want to suggest that these feelings, or more accurately, some aspects of them, are inevitable in our human condition, that they are part of what has been called ‘primary anxiety’, which some see as inherent in our awareness of ourselves as mortal human beings.
Encounters and Interactions within Two US Public Housing Programs
Erika Gubrium, Sabina Dhakal, Laura Sylvester and Aline Gubrium
We operationalize the concepts of rights, discretion, and negotiation in service provision at two public housing sites, exploring their connections to the generation of shame or dignity building for residents. Using data from in-depth interviews with housing residents and caseworkers, we found that resident rights were limited by a decentralized system that actively prevented them from taking control of their lives. Residents frequently experienced caseworker discretion as personally intrusive, yet there was some, if limited, space for negotiation between caseworkers offering personalized care and residents evaluated as worthy of such focus. These interactions offered the potential for enhanced recognition and dignity.